Two weeks have elapsed since Nikon reported extensive flooding at their factory in Ayutthaya, Thailand. The building is still under 2 meters of water and flood waters have not begun to recede yet. Thom Hogan reported today that Nikon has rented a facility just outside of Bangkok, Thailand. They have asked some of their workers to report to the new location starting next week. While there are still numerous obstacles to overcome, any word of progress is a blessing after weeks of seemingly endless bad news.
Nikon reported that they suspended work at their factory in Rojana Industrial Park on October 6, well ahead of the worst of the flooding. We assume they were able to move whatever inventory and some work in progress to higher ground in advance of the impending disaster. The Thailand facility handles manufacturing and assembly of their consumer DSLR cameras, including the D3100, D5100, D7000 and D300s, as well as numerous DX and even some of the low end FX lenses.
The rumors of the rumored D800 announcement being delayed seem to be true. A rumor negating a rumor does not bring validity to either rumor, but Nikon is obviously focused on more critical issues, including how to produce their current lineup of DSLR cameras and lenses with their factory under water and no prospect of resuming production for months. Even though Nikon’s Thailand facility was not likely to be responsible for manufacturing the D800, there may have been components made at that facility for the new camera. Furthermore, their suppliers and partners are undoubtedly also being affected by the flooding, not the least of which is Sony, likely manufacturer of the D800’s rumored 36MP sensor, who also has a facility under water in Thailand. According to Bangkok Post, the Sony facility has been seriously damaged. The facility produces electrical components, including CMOS image sensors used in digital cameras. Sony sensors are used in several Nikon DSLR cameras, including the D5100 and D7000.